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Martians Abroad    by Carrie Vaughn order for
Martians Abroad
by Carrie Vaughn
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2017 (2017)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Here's a great new YA science fiction read, reminiscent in many ways of Robert Heinlein's wonderful Podkayne of Mars. Martians Abroad stars teen Polly Newton. She lives with her twin brother Charles (who, like Podkayne's brother, is a genius and verging on sociopathic) on the red planet, where their mother is Director of the Mars Colony.

Polly dreams of becoming a starship pilot and exploring the galaxy. But she's not just a dreamer; she's worked hard and done all she can to learn the skills she'll need in her planned future. Then her mother derails all her plans by sending Polly and Charles to a three year program at Earth's prestigious Galileo Academy (where no Martian students had been previously enrolled) attended by children of the Solar System's elite.

Readers take the trip to Earth with the twins and they get to know Ethan Achebe, the Zeus mining heir en route. At the academy, they meet other first-year students, the offworlders all clearly distinguished by their height and delicate, low-gravity bones. There are cultural, as well as gravity adjustments needed, and the Earth students sneer at them and make derogatory comments.

Then come the field trips - and accidents. Or are they? Polly saves her new Earth friend, Angelyn, from serious injury in the first one, a rockslide. A kidnapping follows, leaving the students on guard - especially the offworlders. The next field trip is a lunar expedition and this time, the danger is very real. Who is messing with them and why? When they find out, it's a shocker.

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